The Next Ride: Sunday 4 February 2018

29 January 2018

Haywards Heath to Wivelsfield (or Haywards Heath)

Haywards Heath – Cuckfield – Slough Green –

Goddards Green – Burgess Hill – World’s End – Haywards Heath

The last time we did this ride, in April 2016, I bunked off after only a mile and let Julian take over. This time, I promise to stay to the end. But where will the end be? I am tempted to say Wivelsfield station, with its nice step-free access to the southbound platform; but if anyone desperately wants to go back to Haywards Heath I promise to accompany them.

From the suburbs of Haywards Heath we will go through Blunts Wood & Paiges Meadow Nature Reserve, which has a good cycle path. We reach Cuckfield, and then encounter three very nice Clarionesque lanes: Buncton Lane, Stairbridge Lane and Jobs Lane.

As last time, we will have lunch at the Sportsman at Goddards Green, where we should arrive at about 12.30.

After lunch we continue eastwards towards Burgess Hill. Here there is another nature reserve, Bedelands Farm, which is nice, but not ideal cycling country so we probably won’t venture in. This area is known as World’s End, and is not particularly near Wivelsfield, but it is home to Wivelsfield Station. Returning to Haywards Heath involves a slightly undulating route, along Valebridge Road, passing over the East Adur at Vale Bridge.


Start at Haywards Heath Station at 10:35. Meet at the Boltro Road exit (which is the exit from Platforms 3 and 4, where the train will arrive). Make for the lift towards the south end of the station (i.e. looking back towards the tunnel and Brighton) and turn left onto the footbridge (i.e. not towards the new multi-storey car park).

Length: 13 miles if returning from Wivelsfield, or 17 miles to Haywards Heath.

Duration: About 4 hours, or 5 if going back to Haywards Heath.

Terrain: Mainly quiet tarmacked lanes, some B roads. The nature reserve has a good cyclable surface. Mainly flat with a few “undulations”.

How to Get There: Catch the 10:14 Bedford train from Brighton, or any earlier train.

Return Trains: From Haywards Heath: 22, 28, 56 minutes past the hour. From Wivelsfield: 26 minutes past the hour, or 36 minutes past and change at Haywards Heath.

Note: I have not done a repeat recce as this was a last-minute addition. However I have checked that the pub still exists, and have booked it.




29 January 2018

27 January 2018

Dear All

A much shorter newsletter than usual – partly because there’s no ‘last ride’ report since Tessa and Sikka had to cancel (but see below) and because I’ve been waiting for Jim – who stepped in at the last moment – to be able to confirm his ride for 4 February  (see below)

Also partly because it’s my birthday today (77 since you ask) and I’m under strict instruction not to wear myself out!

Tessa and Sikka have rescheduled for 18 Feb so now we are looking for offers for March.


Tessa and Sikka went to Eastbourne Hospital last Sunday to see Julian. Since then I’ve been in touch with him by phone and email and Sue and I are hoping to visit him sometime during the coming week.  He says ‘Quite a long rehab needed’ so he’s likely to be in hospital for a while.  He was moved in the middle of the week to the Solomon Ward, Barry Building, Royal Sussex County.

Easter Meet (1)

First a reminder from Ian Clarke. Nominations have to be in by 9th February.  So far  we are nominating only Bob for Standing Orders Secretary.  If anyone wants to suggest others please let me know in good time


Whilst some of our officers are still willing to stand for re-election, you still have the option to nominate alternative candidates for these posts, including the National committee (and National secretary).

However, we do have some clear vacancies with no current person in that office. It is essential for the Clarion to continue as you know it, that we find volunteers for these important roles:


Expected to be the chairman at three committee meetings (usually held centrally in the UK) and the annual conference at Easter. This is an important role that helps ensure that the constitution, democracy and fairness are held up and that all relevant views are heard. David Bisset has done a perfect job of this role, but will not be standing for re-election.

Membership secretary

With the completed roll-out of the Clarion-wide online membership system, this roll has completely changed in the last 18 months. We now need a person with strong computer literacy skills and good diligence to oversee the support and administration that section membership secretaries need. This is quite an impressive role that would look good on anyone’s CV.

Boots and Spurs editor  

It would be hard not to be proud of yourself, if you were the person behind this fabulous and award winning magazine. Well, we are all proud of Matthew Ball, but now we need someone else to take on the magazine otherwise it will not carry on. We need a creative, organised and dynamic person to pull together all content and images, and lay them out in an impressive magazine, and then pass it over to the printer. (the printer is already in place, and they organise the mail merge)

I ask everyone who receives this email, to consider carefully who could be suitable candidates for these roles.

Easter Meet: A message from Alan Kiddle

I just wanted to draw to your attention that one of Tom Grooms relatives will be officially opening the Easter Meet this year. Purely by coincidence they live close to Southend and made contact as they were researching their family history and suddenly saw that we were holding the Easter Meet in Southend! Alex and I and the rest of London Clarion are really hoping that you and other members of B&H will be able to attend Easter this year as it’s the first time it’s been in the South for many years.Tom Groom was of course, more than any other individual, the founder of the Clarion Cycling clubs back in the 1890s. Later he had a weekly column in the paper with the rather modern-sounding title Cyclorama and is today commemorated every year with the Tom Groom trophy awarded to the section which has “given the most meritorious service to the National Club”.(see some early entries in the ‘history’ section for more details)


The Next Ride: Sunday 21 January 2018

12 January 2018

Hassocks to Lewes

We will catch the 10.44 train to Hassocks (buy return tickets to Hassocks) arriving just before 11am.

We head off through Ditchling to Keymer then turn left on Spatham Lane.

After a few yards we turn right   onto an offroad track (weather permitting) to Streat. A good easy surface for most of the way, there is a short section that some may choose to walk.

Arriving at Streat we turn left and head towards Wivelsfield on a small road that gently undulates.

We then take the Lewes road and head for Cooksbridge where we take a small road to Hamsey then Offham. Arriving there, we cycle the pavement of the busy A275 (the law having clarified that where it is dangerous to use the road, its ok to cycle on the pavement) before turning left into Lewes for a late lunch, probably at the Harveys pub by the river .

Trains to Brighton from Lewes: 22, 44 & 52 past the hour.

It would be good to have some idea of numbers so we can alert the pub. Please text Tessa on 07887 489900 or phone her on 01273 777574 to say if you  plan to join the ride.

Tessa & Sikka

The Last Ride. Sikka’s Report

12 January 2018

Sunday 7 January 2018: Cooden to Catsfield circular

Catsfield's other church
Catsfield’s other church

Present:   Jim, Wendy, Angela D, Tessa and Sikka.   On the long journey to Cooden Beach we changed trains at Eastbourne.    Attempting to leave our bikes locked on the platform we were warned we risked a £50 fine as police surveillance had already alerted the security staff of the potential threat they posed!   We moved them.

Out of Cooden Beach station we cycled northwards through quiet residential streets, eventually climbing our first hill up Peartree Lane. The discovery of hills on this route, having been absent from the outline for the ride and presumably not experienced on the previous, identical, excursion, it was concluded that climate change, with consequent continental drift, had caused tectonic plates to collide and raise the land around Cooden to new heights. Satisfied with this explanation we ploughed on.

We paused at High Woods carpark and noted signs for a quarry on the opposite side of the road.   On the way back we would pass on the other side of this quarry and see massive high towers of  building bricks.  Must be a brick-works??

Donkey silhouette

Skyline at the top of Potman’s Lane. Can you spot the donkey?

A delicious lunch at the White Hart in Catsfield was followed by an adventure in mud and water when the group opted to follow the longer, off-road route back to Cooden via Coombe Valley countryside park.     To recover from this ordeal, we took refuge in the Cooden Beach Hotel for a celebration of Tessa’s birthday with tea and scones and the singing of ‘happy birthday’.

The weather was cold but sunny with blue skies, a fine day to be on a bike.   The countryside was varied, lots of woods and fields and quiet lanes – and hills.

Altogether a delightful ride in good company.   Thank you Jim


Sunset sky at Cooden Beach

Sunset sky over Cooden Beach


The Brunch Ride – 2 January

12 January 2018

Clarion at Carats

L-R Anne, Mick, Coralie, Joyce, Leon, Wendy, Sue, Ian, Julia, Jim, Suzanne, Angela.

Reporter: Did you have a good start to the New Year?

Clarionette: It was great. We went to Carat’s café and had a good old chin-wag.

Reporter:  Who’s “we”.

Clarionette:  Well, there was Angela C and Angela D; Coralie, Fred and Ian; all the Js – Jim, John, Joyce and Julia with Leon, Mick, Roger Sue, Suzanne, not forgetting Wendy.

Reporter:  And what were your chins wagging about?

Clarionette:  The usual:  aches and pains; slipping gears and soggy saddles; Corbyn, Lucas and May; golf and grandchildren; holidays and housework; housing and homelessness. Everything really.

Reporter:  And a good ride there and back?

Clarionette:  Bracing might be the word.  A brisk south-west wind didn’t really slow us down after we’d set off from the Palace Pier on the way there and the tipping rain was more or less on our backs on the return journey.

Reporter:  And I suppose you all got there on your bikes?

Clarionette:  No comment.

Reporter:  Not even a hint?

Clarionette: State secret!

Reporter:  OK.  OK.  See you next year.



12 January 2018

10 January 2018

Dear All

Thanks to Sikka and Tessa we have a ride scheduled for 21 January. So,  any offers for 4 February?  Quite a lot to report this time.


There are teething problems with the new online membership system and so far there are a number of people who haven’t yet managed to renew their membership – only 23 have so far, so please check. Julian will be sending out a reminder once things have been sorted out

The 2018 AGM

We’ll have our AGM sometime in March (but see also below). In the last newsletter I wrote

If anyone, preferably someone living fairly centrally,would like to host the AGM please let me know.  We’ll try and sort out the best day of the week nearer the time.

I will wait until the end of this month before making a final decision. I’ve had no offers – but that was before Christmas when it’s difficult to think beyond the end of the year.  Obviously, it’s best if it doesn’t always take place at the same venue.  Roger and Suzanne hosted it last year. Sue and I are happy to take it on this time if no one else wants to.

STOP PRESS: Mick and Anne have kindly volunteered to host the AGM

The Easter Meet – Nominations and Motions

We have until 10 February to propose motions and make nominations for the national AGM at the Easter Meet. I propose to nominate Bob Harber for Standing Orders Secretary – a role he’s performed very effectively for several years now.  This is subject of course to his approval  – and  to no-one objecting.  I will wait until the end of this month before going ahead.

I have no motions to suggest but if anyone else has we can have a meeting before 10 February to debate this.  Let me know ASAP if you have any proposals to make. In the meantime, I’m attaching the motions being proposed by National Committee. We can decide our view of these at the AGM

Last year only Sue and I were at Chester to represent B&H Clarion. We may not be able to make it this year due to family commitments.  But I hope our section will be adequately represented.  Please read on!

The Easter Meet – Message from Alan Kiddle of London Clarion

Dear all,

I hope you had a great Christmas break?

It’s now just 85 days until Easter so please can I ask that you let your members know about the forthcoming Easter Meet? It’s the one weekend in the year when Clarion members from across the UK have been meeting up for over 100 years to socialise and cycle together.

London Clarion has been working hard to organise an Easter Weekend where there are lots for everyone to enjoy regardless of age or cycling ability. There is a pump track at Hadleigh Park which will be great for those bringing children as well as the Adventure Island amusement park and the longest pier in the World. For those who like Mountain Biking there will be the chance to try the 2012 Olympic course at Hadleigh Park. There will also be a 10-mile time trial on Easter Sunday.

To book accommodation at the Park Inn Hotel in Southend (which will be the HQ for the weekend) members just need to call the hotel Tel 01702455155 and mention National Clarion Easter Meet 2018.

The following special prices have been negotiated:

  • £60 Bed/Breakfast Twin / Double Room (per room per night)
  • £55 Bed/Breakfast Single Room (per room per night)
  • £90 family room including breakfast (per room per night)

It is a £10 Extra per room per night for a sea view.

Once you have booked your accommodation, don’t forget to buy your tickets for the weekend. Tickets are available for the whole weekend or either the Saturday or Sunday. Tickets need to be booked using Eventbrite

For more details about the Easter Weekend please visit the National Clarion website or visit the Events section of the National Clarion Facebook group

Looking forward to seeing everyone at Easter if not before!

Talk on Suzanne’s book

Brighton and Hove National Trust Association.

22 January 2018,  7.30pm at BHASVIC

“Sketches of Brighton 1827” by Suzanne Hinton.

In 1827 a French nobleman came to Brighton for the very first time. Suzanne relates some of his experiences and thoughts.

Hope I haven’t forgotten anything – let me know if I have and I’ll send it out as a supplement!



The Next Ride: Sunday 7th January 2018 – Cooden Beach to Catsfield and back

2 January 2018

This is a repeat of a ride we did in August 2015. We’ll set off from Cooden Beach station, and after skirting the Bexhill suburbs of Cooden and Little Common, we reach the delightful Peartree Lane, which very soon delivers us to High Woods. We lingered here (in the rain!) last time but the paths don’t really take us anywhere much so we’ll probably just nod in its direction this time.

We cross the A269 at Lunsford’s Cross, and then Potman’s Lane brings the only seriously steep hill, which is about 1 in 15 but is soon over.

Lunch will be at the White Hart at Catsfield, at 12:00, a pleasant little pub which was judged “spacious and warm” last time, and the food “good and reasonably priced”.

St Laurence’s Church (12th century) may once again tempt us in. This time, however, I will make sure we are all together before making the decision to stop there, to ensure that we don’t lose anyone!

On the way back we go through Henley’s Down, and then there is a possible off-road detour which is a little bumpy but at least gets us away from traffic. We can discuss whether to take it or not on the day; if this proves to be a “cat-herding” exercise, we can split up and then reconvene in Sidley.

Sidley is on the outskirts of Bexhill, so at this point we turn west and regain Peartree Lane and our outward route.

We return to Cooden Beach station after a total of only 14 miles; once again, if any of us want to go further, it will be possible to cycle back to Pevensey and Westham station, 6 miles further on (but not to Norman’s Bay, as trains don’t stop there on Sundays). The sun sets at 9 miutes past 4 and we should get to Cooden well before that. But bring lights – just in case!


Start at Cooden Beach station at 10:40. There are bike-friendly ramps to road level.

Distance: 14 or 20 miles

Terrain: Mostly quiet roads, some off-road possible. Some undulations.

Getting there: There are no direct trains from Brighton to Cooden on Sundays. I recommend getting the Ashford train from Brighton at 9:12 and changing at Eastbourne onto the 10:21 Ore train (this gives us half an hour for the change, and even a possibility of coffee).

Getting back: Trains leave Cooden Beach at 38 minutes past the hour, and Pevensey & Westham at 44 minutes past, changing at Eastbourne again.